The Ukrainian community in Malta will be organising a peaceful gathering in support and solidarity with their home country after Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine entered its second day.
The gathering will take place on Saturday outside the Triton Fountain in Valletta between 2pm and 4pm.
“This is an exclusively peaceful gathering in order to show unity support and solidarity with our home country Ukraine in this terrifying moment in time,” reads the Facebook post on the Ukrainians in Malta page.
Those attending are reminded to wear a mask and take their vaccine certificate. They can wear traditional Ukrainian clothes.
'My parents taking shelter in garage'
One of the women attending is Ukrainian Anna Turanska who is worried for the life of her elderly parents back in Kyiv, where explosions have been reported by the international media.
"They are sitting in the underground garage of their block of apartments. They brought there some heaters and folding beds,” Turanska said, adding that internet connection was weak so she was struggling to contact her parents.
Turanska, who moved to Malta seven years ago with her Hungarian husband and two children, last saw her parents, Vira and Aleksandr, two years ago before the pandemic struck in March 2020. Before that, they would visit regularly.
“I am worried for my parents. They are elderly and will not be able to get out of there fast enough if war breaks out,” she had told Times of Malta two weeks ago when the invasion was looming.
“I just wish I could tell them to come over and stay with us in Malta for a few weeks. But I can’t because Ukraine is on the dark red list, even though they are both vaccinated and boosted,” she had said.
Travel to and from so-called dark red countries is banned except for exceptional circumstances and only with prior authorisation.
Meanwhile, Repubblika is organising a protest on Friday at 8pm in front of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in San Ġwann.
“The protest is being held to appeal to the Russian authorities to immediately order the stoppage of the military invasion and aggression in the sovereign state of Ukraine and to order the Russian military forces back to Russia,” Repubblika said.
A solidarity vigil is also being held by JEF Malta at Freedom Square in Valletta on Saturday.
On Thursday, a small group of Maltese and foreign young people held a spontaneous protest outside the Russian embassy. Several protests and demonstrations are going on in several cities around the world. The United States and the European Union have responded to the attack on Ukraine with a barrage of sanctions on Russia.